With his rubbish collected only once a fortnight, Gareth Corkhill's wheelie bin was so full the lid wouldn't shut.
And for that, the father of four finds himself with a criminal record.
Magistrates convicted the 26-year-old bus driver after hearing evidence that the lid was four inches ajar, which is against rules to stop bins overflowing.
He was ordered to pay £210 - a week's wages - after he declined to pay an on-the-spot fine imposed by the local council's bin police, who visited him wearing stab-proof vests and carrying photographic evidence of his crime.
To add insult to injury he was told to pay a £15 victim surcharge to help victims of violence - despite there being no victim - and threatened with prison if he failed to pay.
Rapists, murderers and other violent criminals who have earned a jail sentence rather than a fine are immune from the penalty.
Yesterday the council, Copeland in Cumbria, said that Mr Corkhill's family had caused problems for "the battle to reduce waste".
His penalty compares with the typical on-the-spot fine of £80 given to shoplifters - even repeat offenders.
For failing to pay his fine Mr Corkhill, from Whitehaven, will now have a criminal record which he will have to disclose if he applies for a job, credit or a mortgage over the next five years.
Even after that he will have to reveal his crime if he applies for a job in the NHS, working with children, in a bank, or as a security guard.
"I can't believe I now have a criminal record for simply putting rubbish in my bin," he said. "My only crime was to leave the lid slightly open. Now I might go for a job interview and be better than someone else but the employer will see that officially, I am a criminal.
"They won't know the details of what I did. They won't know that I only put a little too much rubbish in the bin."
Over the past couple of years, I've posted many articles condemning the British for their absurd enforcement of the Form of the law, while paying little attention to the Substance.
When I previously wrote about (search the blog for "Brits"):
- Yobs in general;
- the (unresolved) murder of teen-agers for their cell-phones;
- the multiple attacks on a father ultimately resulting on his death within steps of his doorstep, which was not investigated for months;
- the father who went next door to retrieve a soccer ball inadvertently kicked over a neighbor's fence, with the result that the father was beaten to death by his neighbors by (among other weapons) a golf club;
- the report that overweight and/or smoking patients are, as a matter of policy, denied medical care by the National Health Service because their budget did not allow providing services to patients who are "not likely to discontinue destructive personal practices, therefore they are not a viable candidate for medical intervention" (probably a paraphrase);
- the incidents where a home-owner physically resisted a home-invasion burglary (of an occupied dwelling) resulting in injury to the burglar and, ultimately, governmental prosecution of the home-owner ...
I've often used the draconian measures applied to Dustbin Controlas a standard by which all other governmental actions should be compared.
But I never actually presented an example of Dustbin Control.
As we have seen on many, many occasions, Yobs who attack innocent citizens are served with an "Anti-Social Behavior Order" (ASBO) rather than to face fine, probation or imprisonment ... often discregarding the frequent recurrence of the same physical attacks on honest citizens.
On the other hand, these same honest citizens are penalized egregiously under British law for such heinous offenses as over-filling their dustbins.
It is as if the police recognize that there is no benefit to be gained by penalizing criminals, but penalties imposed on honest citizens yield surprisingly positive results.
That is to say, throw a Yob in the slammer for knifing an honest citizen, and he'll just quietly serve his time and, upon release, go back to the streets and knife the next honest citizen who doesn't yield to his predations. God knows the Yob has no earnings to pay a fine, and if he did it would be something he had stolen, so what is a fine to the Yob except , except encouragement to go out and mug someone to come up with the fine?
On the other hand, fine an honest citizen a week's wages, and he is likely to be able to pay the fine ... and feel the pain of teh deprivation of his paycheck. That'll show him! ("Cow the Sheep!")
A pox upon the Brits, who are unable or unwilling to control the uncontrollable, but see no paradox in their willing ease of
If the British employed competent people for their police, they would no longer know how to administer justice.
As it is, they barely know how to oppress their subjects.